Sampson, Thomas

, an eminent puritan divine, was, according to Strype, born at Playford in Suffolk, and was a fellow of Pembroke hall, Cambridge. Wood says he was born in 1517, without specifying where; but adds, that he was educated ac Oxford, which seems most probable, as that university was the scene of much of his future life; He appears to have imbibed the principles of the | reformation at a very early period, and became such an acute reasoner that Wood informs us he was the means of converting John Bradford, the famous martyr. He began likewise very early to entertain those prejudices against the hahits which occasioned so much mischief in the church, and which were confirmed in him, and many others, by. associating with the Geneva reformers during their exile in the time of queen Mary. He was ordained by archbishop Cranmer and bishop Ridley, who, at his request, dispensed with the habits, to which now, and ever after, he attached the idea of idolatry. He was chaplain in the army of lord Russel in his expedition against the Scots. In 1551, he was preferred to the rectory of Allhallows, Bread-street, London, which he resigned in 1553, and the year following to the deanery of Chichester. During the reign of Edward VI. he was accounted one of the* ablrst and most useful preachers in confirming the people in the doctrines of the reformation. On the accession of queen Mary he concealed himself for some time; but having been active in collecting money for the support of poor scholars in the two universities, narrowly escaped beingapprehended, and was obliged to go abroad, where he resided chiefly at Strasburgh, with the other English exiles, and had some hand in the Geneva translation of the Bible.

On the accession of queen Elizabeth he returned home, not only confirmed in his aversion to the habits, but with a dislike, it would appear, to the whole of the hierarchy, and refused the bishopric of Norwich because dissatisfied with the nature of the office. He continued, however, to preach, particularly at Paul’s cross, where his wonderful memory and eloquence were very much admired; and in September 1560 he was made a prebendary of Durham. In Michaelmas-term 1561, he was instalied clean of Christ-church, Oxford. On this occasion some members of that society, who recommended him for the situation, said, that “it was very doubtful, whether there was a better man, a greater linguist, a more complete scholar, or a more profound divine;” and it is certain that for some years he and Dr. Lawrence Humphrey were the only protestant preachers at Oxford of any celebrity. In 1562, he resigned his prebend of Durham, and became so open and zealous in his invectives against the habits, that after considerable forbearance, he was cited, with Dr. Humphrey, before the high commission court at Lambeth, and Sampson was | Deprived of his deanery, and for some time imprisoned. Notwithstanding his nonconformity, however, he was presented, in 1568, to the mastership of Wigston-hospitaJ, at Leicester, and had likewise, according to Wood, a prebend in St. Paul’s. He went to reside at Leicester, and continued there until his death, April 9, 1589. He mar-? ried bishop Latimer’s niece, by whom he had two sons, John and Nathaniel, who erected a monument to his memory, with a Latin inscription, in the chapel of the hospital at Leicester, where he was buried. His works are tew 1. “Letter to the professors of Christ’s Gospel, in the parish of Allhallows in Breadstreet,” Strasburgb, 1554, 8vo, which is reprinted in the appendix to Strype’s “Ecclesiastical Memorials,” vol. III. 2. “A Warning to take heed pf ‘Fowler’s Psalter’,” Loud. 1576 and 1578, 8vo. This was a popish psalter published by John Fowler, once a Fellow of New-college, Oxford, but who went abroad, turned printer, and printed the popish controversial works for some years. 3, ' Brief Collection of the Church and Ceremonies thereof,“Lond. 1581, 8vo. 4.” Prayers and Meditations Apostolike; gathered and framed out of the Epistles of the Apostles,“&c. ibid. 1592, J6mo. He was also editor of two sermons of his friend John Bradford, on repentance and the Lord’s-supper, Lond. 1574, 1581, and, 1589, 8vo. Baker ascribes to him, a translation of” a Sermon of John Chrysostome, of Pacience, of the end of the world, and the last judgment,“1550, 8vo; and of” An Homelye of the Resurrection of Christ," by John Brentius, 1550, 8vo. Other works, or papers in which he was concerned, may be seen in pur authorities. 1


Ath. Ox. new edit. vol. I. —Strype’s Annals. —Strype’s Life of Parker, pp. 162, 184, 136, 243, [448], 468.